The Boundaries of Heresy: Geoffrey Alderman, Louis Jacobs, Clive Lawton and David-Hillel Ruben

Geoffrey Alderman, David-Hillel Ruben , Louis Jacobs, Clive Lawton

28/02/2004 12:00 pm

The Jacobs Affair” was triggered when Rabbi Louis Jacobs’ appointment as Principal of Jews College was vetoed by the then Chief Rabbi on the grounds of heresy. In 1964 Rabbi Jacobs founded the New London Synagogue, which led to the creation of the Masorti movement. Four decades on the shockwaves continue to reverberate.

To mark the 40th anniversary of this key event in Anglo-Jewry, the panel of leading heavyweights discussed the ongoing political, social and theological ramifications, before a packed audience. Geoffrey Alderman shared some startling revelations from several of the episodes of the “Jacobs Affair.” Louis Jacobs gave an eloquent defence of his theological position and also discussed some of his more recent thinking. Clive Lawton, speaking for the younger generation, gave an impassioned plea for Anglo-Jewry to move beyond this event and the eminent philosopher on the panel, David-Hillel Ruben set out the position of Orthodoxy on the subject of revelation.

Geoffrey Alderman

Geoffrey Alderman is Vice-President of American InterContinental University, London. His books include Modern British Jewry (1998). He has a weekly column in the Jewish Chonicle.

David-Hillel Ruben 

David-Hillel Ruben is Professor of Philosophy at SOAS and former Director of the London School of Jewish Studies.

Louis Jacobs

Louis Jacobs CBE was Rabbi of the New London Synagogue for over 35 years. His publications include A Jewish Theology (1973) andBeyond Reasonable Doubt (1999).

Clive Lawton

Clive Lawton is a founder and Executive Director of Limmud and UJIA Fellow at SOAS. He writes a weekly column in the London Jewish News.